Instead of the usual author interview, Margaret gave me the option of discussing some of my own “Creative Madness” and sharing one of my favorite hobbies with you. I couldn’t resist. Especially when I saw that Margaret herself shares my passion not only for reading Christian historical fiction but for cross-stitch.
*This is a guest post from author Karleen Koen.* I wish I were creatively mad. Perhaps then I wouldn’t worry so. But when I think about it, creative madness does have me. Why write about a family in the early 18th century and become so engaged with them that you take the story backwards instead of forwards to write about the grandmother? Why take the story backwards instead of forwards? Why spend your days imagining what a character might have said or how she/he would react? Why read biographies and social commentaries and memoirs and funny old almanacs and recipe books? People around me rise at 7 am, go off to work in a cubicle. I can stay at home in my pajamas and daydream about other centuries and people who aren’t real, or who were real but now are gone. That’s crazy, that’s madness. That’s creative…………….. The best part. . .
I love the phrase “creative madness!” It describes me when I’m digitally scrapbooking and have to finish my page, or plotting out a scene in one of my books, or my husband’s recent approach to visiting Disneyland. 🙂 But I’m coming to realize that fervor of creative energy, in any area of our lives, can’t be the same all the time. We need time to rest, to muse, to breathe, to slow down. Some of my best ideas for my writing come when I’m not at the keyboard, but rather doing regular day-to-day tasks. This really hit home a few weeks back, when filled with “creative madness” about my upcoming book and other projects, I stopped for a time to watch my daughter playing in the sprinklers. Watching her joy at getting wet reminded me of the importance of doing less, instead of more. What might have felt at first. . .
Thank you, Margaret, for having me as a guest today. I love the title Creative Madness Mama! Here is a little of The Creative Madness of Darlene Panzera: While I use charts, templates, and index cards to map out my story ideas, the way I put it all together to create a finished novel is a bit of madness. I start with a mental image of a story I want to write. Usually a scene with a couple lines of dialogue. Then I come up with everything else in the story from there, moving forward or backward or anywhere inbetween. A poster board helps with the brainstorming process because I’m a visual person who needs to see things laid out in front of me. I draw a big line down the middle and insert dots depicting the various turning points that must happen. I know there’s a beginning, middle,. . .
My debut novel, Wings of a Dream, released this past September. After the excitement over that book died down, people began asking about my upcoming book, which releases this September. When the question arises, I usually hesitate for a moment, trying to quiet the flip-flop of my stomach. “It’s about a girl who is passionate about missions and auto racing—in 1916.” Blank stares. Or confused ones. It’s obviously not the missions part that throws people. It’s the auto racing. The first question I usually hear is, “They raced cars back then?” “They sure did,” I reply. “And at speeds near 100 mph.” Eyebrows usually shoot sky high about now. How in the world, you might ask, did such a story come into being? To be honest, I’m not really sure! While doing some general research in the time period of 1910-1920, I ran across an article about an. . .
When I was writing Highland Sanctuary, Phelan, the village wolf dog appeared out of nowhere. Of course, the name is Celtic/Scottish for male and actually means, wolf. In my mind, I imagined a white wolf with yellow eyes. He looks fierce, but is gentle as a lamb. With Phelan around, few people worry about their safety. Most think of him as the village protector. Whenever there is danger, Phelan always senses it and alerts the villagers. He’s loyal, a companion, and a friend. The reader gets a glimpse of Phelan’s playfulness, his seriousness, and his vulnerable side. Throughout the book, he becomes as much of a character as any of the other people in the story. For those of us who are animal lovers, don’t our pets become part of our family? We worry when they don’t feel well or act bizarre. We grieve when they’re in pain and die.. . .